The final rule mandating the use of electronic logging devices by drivers and fleets is scheduled to be published Sept. 30, 2015, and enforcement to begin Sept. 30, 2017. For fleets that already have onboard communications systems, the cost to implement an ELD solution for paperless driver logs is incremental, perhaps only $5 to $10 per truck.
For fleets that lack a mobile computing platform now, or are considering replacement options before the ELD mandate arrives, the market is filling up with low-cost compliance options that utilize smartphone and tablet devices with plenty of room to add more applications in the future.
One trend that is taking shape now among truck manufacturers is to offer a telematics platform in the vehicle directly from the factory. A built-in telematics system can be paired with a mobile device of a fleet’s own choosing to run ELDs and other fleet management applications.
Volvo and Mack trucks, for example, now come equipped with a telematics system from Telogis. Using this base Telogis Fleet platform, fleets can add the Telogis Compliance suite for electronic logs, driver vehicle inspection reports (DVIRs) and IFTA fuel tax reporting for a combined monthly subscription of between $30 and $50 a month, says Kelly Frey, vice president of product marketing for Telogis.
It’s not just fleets with heavy-duty trucks that need to comply with ELD regulations. Any commercial driver of a vehicle combination weighing over 10,000 pounds could be required by law enforcement to produce electronic logs. Telogis also has partnerships with the major manufacturers of light and medium-duty trucks to offer its telematics platform straight from the factory.
Daimler Trucks North America has the Detroit Connect telematics system. Developed in conjunction with Zonar, the system uses an Android-powered on-board tablet that comes pre-loaded with four trucking-specific apps, including ones for navigation, hours of service, a pre- and post-trip inspection and a two-way messaging.
A myriad of ELD compliance applications can be purchased from suppliers using a subscription model that includes the hardware.